Indian Coast Guard commissioned its second ALH Mk III Squadron
New Delhi, 5 May (UH). Indian Coast Guard commissioned its second ALH Mk III Squadron on 04 May at Coast Guard Air Enclave Kochi. The commissioning of the Squadron by Director General VS Pathania, PTM, TM, Director General Indian Coast Guard at Kochi has provided a major boost to the maritime security and safety on the Western Seaboard. The commissioning ceremony was graced by various civil and military dignitaries also.
The commissioning of this squadron earmarks a considerable leap towards self-reliance in the field of helicopter mounted SAR and long range maritime surveillance, in line with government’s push towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. ALH Mk III helicopters feature array of state of art sensors, which add up to maritime prowess of Indian Coast Guard at sea.
These helicopters have powerful Shakti engines, full glass cockpit, high-intensity searchlight, traffic alert and collision avoidance system, advanced communication systems, automatic identification system, search-and-rescue homer and automatic flight control system and is fitted with modern surveillance radar/ electro-optical equipment, which enables them to undertake the role of long range maritime reconnaissance, in addition to providing long range search and rescue, both by day and night. The Helicopter is provided with a heavy machine gun to undertake constabulary missions at sea and also a removable Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) to facilitate transfer of critically ill patients during MEDEVAC.
Out of 16 ALH MK-III aircraft, 12 have been inducted in the Indian Coast Guard in a phased manner and the latest 04 of these aircraft being positioned at Kochi, covering the entire coast of Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshwadeep islands under their surveillance efforts. Post induction in March this year, the squadron has already flown over 350 hours and conducted numerous operational missions namely NATPOLREX VIII at Goa, afloat confirmatory trials & clearances and trial landings at dispersed helipads.
845 Sqn (CG) is commanded by Commandant Kunal Chandrakant Naik and manned by 09 officers and 35 men.